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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 03/06/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Shops basket items at ramadan prices sell them at higher prices

the inspection campaign will begin at groceries in abu dhabi before the holy month of ramadan and then be extended to other emirates. — kt file photo used only for illustrative purpose

the consumer protection department at the ministry of economy is planning to carry out inspections at groceries in abu dhabi first and in other emirates later to ensure that they are not buying commodities from big retail chains at discounted rates and selling them at higher prices ahead of the holy month of ramadan.

the inspectors would check the receipts the groceries have for purchasing foodstuff and other goods which they are selling and the prices they charge from consumers.

the step is in view of complaints that certain groceries buy a large quantity of goods from big outlets which offer special prices during occasions like ramadan. sometimes the prices charged by groceries are twice the same at big retailers.

dr hashim al nuaimi director of the consumer protection department said they decided to launch inspections across groceries after receiving complaints from sale outlets and retail chains blaming groceries of buying foodstuffs and other edible items sold at discounted prices and sell them to consumers at higher prices. the ministry and trading centres together have laid down a plan to confront such malpractices so that consumers could make maximum use of the ramadan offers.

according to the plan the ministry’s inspection teams would check the bills and receipts to make sure that the groceries have bought the items directly from their authorised suppliers not from other retail outlets.

the inspection teams would also make surprise visits to groceries during ramadan. “any grocery caught flouting this rule would be slapped with a fine ranging from dh5000 to dh100000” al nuaimi confirmed.

“such malpractices harm the interests of both consumers and big retailers which spend millions of dirhams to procure these items and offer them at affordable prices to consumers.”

the department has identified 15 major items which are sold at higher prices by groceries after getting them from big outlets and cooperative societies at cheaper rates sometimes up to 30-40 per cent during ramadan. these include milk edible oil sugar tea detergents vimto (juice) and raisins.

al nuaimi assured consumers that the market has sufficient goods and advised them not to hurry to stash them up for ramadan.

he called upon consumers to dial the ministry’s contact number 600522225 if they want to complain about price hikes and selling of expired goods.

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